Candidates flock to PGC for Lincoln-Reagan dinner

47_0175SING IT OUT!  — From the left, Dania Jones and Sheridan Johnson lead the singing of God Bless America at the closing of the Pondera Glacier-Toole County Lincoln-Reagan Dinner at the Pondera Golf Club on Sunday.  I-O Photo by Buck Traxler




By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor

Like moths drawn to a candle flame, candidates and  constituents alike filled the Pondera Golf Club for a Sunday afternoon fest, and oh by the way, there was plenty of political conversations as well at the Pondera-Glacier-Toole Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner.

House Representative Llew Jones had the duty of Master of Ceremonies. Everett Snortland gave the invocation and members of Boy Scout Troop 1513 presented the colors.

House Representative Denny Rehberg drove up from Billings to give the keynote address.

In his short address, he reminded the crowd that it is the private sector that creates business, not the government and that you don’t raise taxes in a recession.

“The larger the government the smaller the citizen,” he noted while he mentioned that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had added 2,600 jobs to the state department.

Rob Cook a first-time candidate, running for the vacant seat in HD-27 said he was very excited to be in this contest and, “I’m a business-Republican.”

Local candidates that were introduced included Sheriff Tom Kuka, County Attorney Mary Ann Ries,  Commissioner Sandy Broesder, Clerk and Recorder Janice Hoppes, and County Superintendent of Schools Jo Stone and Justice of the Peace Audrey Brown, the latter being a non-partisan position.

Judge William Nels Swandal, from Helena, who is running for the Montana Supreme Court was on hand.

He is third generation Montanan, an Army veteran who served for 30 years and among many accolades, he was named the 2009 CASA Judge of the Year.

Running for the seat on the Public Service Commission were Bill Gallagher and Travis Kavulla. Also running the PSC seat was Jerry Black and Brad Johnson, both who could not attend the dinner, had letters read for them.

Doctor Shawn Nesbo won $100 in the Heads ’n Tails game and donated it back and George Tornga was $146 richer after winning a 50-50 drawing.

Closing out the event of the day, elementary students Sheridan Johnson and Dania Jones led everyone in the singing of God Bless America.